Throwback Thursdays Art – w/ Update!

Throwback Thursdays Art – w/ Update!

Every Thursday, as part of my personal “enriched environment” initiative, I post a piece of art, usually from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which recently released online some 400,000 high-resolution images of its collection.  All artwork will show a sun (or sunlight) somewhere. 

I won’t name the piece or the artist, but instead invite you to study the art and post a comment addressing one or more of these questions:

  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

If you have another idea, run with it.

Special Update!  The New York Times website does this same exercise every Monday with a news photo that is uncaptioned and contains no text (click!).  The Times asks viewers the same three questions:

  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

However, at the end of the week, the Times posts the background information on the picture.  So, I’ve decided to do the same.  I’ll still post an unlabeled piece of art on Thursday.  But return on Sunday (for the Sunny Sundays post!) and you’ll find an update on the artwork here.

Note:  To embiggen the image, click on it! 



The Repast of the Lion

Artist:  Henri Rousseau (le Douanier) (French, Laval 1844–1910 Paris)

Date:  ca. 1907

Medium:  Oil on canvas

Dimensions:  44 3/4 x 63 in. (113.7 x 160 cm)

Classification:  Paintings

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 825

 

Gallery Label

This work was probably shown in the Salon d’Automne of 1907, but it treats a theme that Rousseau first explored in Surprised! of 1891 (National Gallery, London). He based the exotic vegetation of his many jungle pictures on studies that he made in Paris’s botanical gardens, and adapted the wild beasts from popular ethnographic journals and illustrated children’s books. Rousseau’s nickname, “le Douanier,” derives from his job as a customs official.

 

About The Author: Bruce

6 Comments

  1. Martha E.
    Reply

    I see big, bold, beautiful flowers flourishing in the foreground, and a lion that’s bitten a cheetah’s head in the mid ground, and a sun rising in the background like a freshly peeled hard boiled egg.

  2. Stephon
    Reply

    What’s this picture saying? That in the immense, lush beauty of nature (the giant flowers) there’s still painful death and misery? That they go hand in hand? And I don’t think that’s a cheetah, it’s a leopard. Look at the spots.

  3. KC
    Reply

    One predator eating another.

  4. Lucia
    Reply

    It’s dark and dusk and the brightest objects that catch my eye are the huge flowers and the sun. The lion killing the leopard is small and dark in comparison, but there’s no mistaking the drops of blood.

  5. Chris Tempe
    Reply

    It’s dusk and half of the sun is below the horizon. Lush foliage frames a lion that has just killed a leopard. Droplets of blood appear here and there on both animals. I find it strange that the lion is looking directly at me, the viewer. Its expression seems angry, angry at me, and I feel like it’s viewing me as an intruder or a competitor.

    When I enlarge the painting the individual sections appear amateurish. But when I pull back I don’t notice this. I also notice that the really lush plants are in the foreground on either side of the lion. Behind the lion the plants look thinner

  6. Ron Jackson
    Reply

    There’s a kind of diamond shape going on here – the sun at the top, the two animals at the bottom, and the flowers for the side angles.
    And it’s interesting that the diagonal frond of long grass cutting across in front of the animals has the most brightly-lit reflection of the sun coming up.

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